Can Human Growth Hormone Slow Aging and Help Us Live Longer?
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, and it is responsible for the growth and maintenance of tissues and organs in the body throughout our lifetime. Once an adult hits middle-age, the natural production of HGH slows, inspiring many scientists and researchers to speculate that there may be a link between HGH and the aging process.
For years, HGH boosters have been used as a treatment for various ailments, but claims of anti-aging properties have caused many to turn to HGH boosters in an effort to not only stave off their own mortality, but also the many wrinkles that come with it. How effective is this treatment? Is this the proverbial lightening in a bottle? According to Dr. S. Jay Olshansky, in Part I of “Quest for Immortality,” we aren’t quite there yet.
In this episode, Dr. Olshansky references Dr. Alan Paul Mintz as one of the key pioneers in HGH and aging research. Claiming more energy, improved physical condition, and better sex, Dr. Mintz and his followers were rabid proponents of using HGH to slow aging, but Dr. Mintz admitted that he wasn’t certain if this treatment could be detrimental in the long-run.
Dr. Olshansky explains that Dr. Mintz’s research was based on a widely-cited study in 1990, which reported increased mental acuity, muscle mass, and improved libido in test subjects who were given HGH boosters. However, since that time, a number of researchers have cited that long-term HGH supplementation seems to be attributed to earlier death in both animals and humans.
With short-term side effects being so positive, we were curious about the mechanism that caused earlier deaths from long-term exposure to HGH supplementation. Dr. Olshansky explained that HGH causes all cells to grow rapidly, even the bad ones. So, as the test subjects displayed increased muscle mass, mental acuity, and libido, it is likely that many of the subjects were experiencing increased cancerous cell growth as well.
In the end, it appears that our natural shutdown of HGH production may actually be a protective measure which enables us to live longer. Thanks biology! If you’d like to hear Dr. Olshansky discuss Human Growth Hormone, Aging, and Immortality, you can check out the full episode here: